are 500'000 dead children worth it

  • interestingch...

    Posts: 694

    Mar 21, 2016 8:19 PM GMT
    Madeline Albright, ex secretary of state, commented in an interview that 500'000 dead Iraqi children was worth it for winning the war, does anyone reading this find that acceptable?
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    Mar 21, 2016 8:49 PM GMT
    does killing more than 270 million and enslaving millions of christian, jew and other faith slaves in the name of Islam was worth it ? most of muslims will say it was and it just continues and let's just not forget al the women stoned to death, gays hanged, women raped, apostates killed, children enslaved as sex toys


    I personally don't give a shit about middle east and their disgusting backwards religion and culture
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    Mar 22, 2016 3:06 AM GMT
    interestingchap saidMadeline Albright, ex secretary of state, commented in an interview that 500'000 dead Iraqi children was worth it for winning the war, does anyone reading this find that acceptable?

    Do you have a link to that interview? And was it 500,000?
  • interestingch...

    Posts: 694

    Mar 22, 2016 9:10 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    interestingchap saidMadeline Albright, ex secretary of state, commented in an interview that 500'000 dead Iraqi children was worth it for winning the war, does anyone reading this find that acceptable?

    Do you have a link to that interview? And was it 500,000?


    I'm not sure how to do it but you can do a search on it and find it.
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    Mar 22, 2016 11:37 AM GMT
    To the average American, yes. "Fuck yea" to be exact. Kill dem Muslims!
    Hundreds of thousands of children are being killed in Syria and they still don't care.

    They don't even care about the democide in their own country, they're too busy obsessing over "Islamic terrorism", see Boni.
  • venue35

    Posts: 4644

    Mar 22, 2016 12:52 PM GMT
    The Bush administration cared so much for all the children that died from all the bombings in iraq...they thought it was only a video game apparently
  • interestingch...

    Posts: 694

    Mar 22, 2016 5:40 PM GMT
    venue35 saidThe Bush administration cared so much for all the children that died from all the bombings in iraq...they thought it was only a video game apparently


    So true, have you heard of wikileaks in the US and seen the leaked footage of a rocket strike taking out a civilian because they were given the order from their superiors to strike even though an innocent person was walking past which killed him?
    That is a war crime and have the proof, thats why Julian Assange has been hiding in an embassy because the anglo american establishment tried to frame him for rape because he has exposed a lot of crime done by our governments.
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    Mar 22, 2016 9:16 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    interestingchap saidMadeline Albright, ex secretary of state, commented in an interview that 500'000 dead Iraqi children was worth it for winning the war, does anyone reading this find that acceptable?

    Do you have a link to that interview? And was it 500,000?


    The interview was on '60 Minutes' back in 1996.

    Via Democracy Now! (2004), here was a recap of what Albright said back in 1996 during the interview:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2004/7/30/democracy_now_confronts_madeline_albright_on

    Democracy NowDuring his presidency, Bill Clinton presided over the most devestating regime of economic sanctions in history that the UN estimated took the lives of as many as a million Iraqis, the vast majority of them children.

    In May of 1996, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Madeline Albright, who at the time was Clinton's UN Ambassador. Correspondent (Lesley) Stahl said to Albright, "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that"s more children than died in Hiroshima. And — and you know, is the price worth it?"

    Madeline Albright replied "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it."



    In 2004, Democracy Now! (specifically, Amy Goodman, the middle-right commentator you see on CNN today) spotted the Ambassador following a DNC convention closing speech by then-candidate John Kerry, and asked her about her response back in 1996 (in reference to Clinton's sanctions against Saddam Hussein's Iraq).


    Democracy Now! (July 2004)AMY GOODMAN: Secretary Albright—the question I have always wanted to ask’ do you regret having said, when asked do you think the price was worth it—

    MADELINE ALBRIGHT: I have said 5,000 times that I regret it. It was a stupid statement. I never should have made it and if everybody else that has ever made a statement they regret, would stand up, there would be a lot of people standing. I have many, many times said it and I wish that people would report that I have said it. I wrote it in my book that it was a stupid statement.

    AMY GOODMAN: Do you think it laid the ground work for later being able to target Iraq and make it more acceptable on the part of the Bush administration?

    MADELINE ALBRIGHT: What? You’ve got to be kidding.

    AMY GOODMAN: The sanctions against Iraq.

    MADELINE ALBRIGHT: The sanctions against Iraq were put on because Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. But there never were sanctions against food and medicine. And you people need to know there never were sanctions against food and medicine and I was responsible for getting food in there and getting Saddam Hussein to pump oil.


    So, in a nutshell, Albright contends that the economic sanctions by the U.S. did not include essentials like food and medicine; that any deaths of children and grown-ups that did occur laid at the feet of the dictator that thought it was a good idea to invade Kuwait; and that her actions may have saved lives, not caused additional deaths.

    The OP suggests the Ambassador's comments were under the context of "winning the war" (his words). The first Gulf War for the U.S. (Operation Desert Storm) ended in 1991 with George H.W. Bush in power, well before Clinton's imposed sanctions. That war began just over four months after Saddam invaded Kuwait. The next war in Iraq began in 2003, under the first Bush's son, the year before this follow-up interview that included Albright's verbal retraction.

    Albright's 1996 comment was not in relation to "winning a war," but to "economic sanctions" imposed by President Clinton.

    The sudden concern about an already retracted statement by Albright stem from another statement that she found herself quickly stepping back from in defense of another Clinton: the "Special Place in Hell" comments.

    As to whether these million deaths actually happened from economic sanctions, well...

    http://www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/the-iraq-sanctions-myth-56433

    Pacific Standard (April 2013)Just over 10 years ago the United Kingdom followed the United States into the bloody Iraq War. George W. Bush and Tony Blair justified the invasion mainly with the claim that Iraq possessed, or was in the process of building, weapons of mass destruction. Most people now seem to be aware that this premise was false.

    Yet a crucial myth surrounding the Iraq War still commands widespread belief—that economic sanctions aimed at Saddam Hussein and his regime killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children in the 1990s and early 2000s. The supposed lethality of economic sanctions was used as an argument for invading Iraq, as Walter Russell Mead would argue in March 2003: "Saddam Hussein is 65; containing him for another 10 years condemns at least another 360,000 Iraqis to death. Of these, 240,000 will be children under five."

    And, as we shall see, the sanctions myth is still used to justify the war. There were no hundreds of thousands of extra deaths.

    The claim that sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children originated in a 1995 letter to The Lancet which, in turn, was based on a Baghdad survey done by Sarah Zaidi and colleagues.

    After other researchers identified anomalies in the survey data, Zaidi, to her great credit, re-investigated the work from the ground up. Having sub-contracted the original interviews to the Iraqi government, she traveled to Baghdad and re-interviewed many of the original households. When Zaidi failed to confirm quite a few of the reported deaths in these follow-up interviews, she retracted her results.

    For the rest of your life, whenever you see a survey, ask yourself a simple question: Who guarantees the integrity of the field work for this survey? It made a world of difference in the present case when Sarah Zaidi shifted this responsibility from some Iraqi government workers to herself.

    Sadly, the retraction came too late—the genie was already out of the bottle.

    In May 1996, shortly after the publication of Zaidi’s original letter, Madeleine Albright, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, had the following rather shocking and fateful exchange on American national television:


    MTI3NTgxNjQwNjAzMDQ4NDE0.jpg

    60 Minutes (CBS News, 1996)Lesley Stahl (of CBS News): "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And,
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    Mar 22, 2016 9:18 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    interestingchap saidMadeline Albright, ex secretary of state, commented in an interview that 500'000 dead Iraqi children was worth it for winning the war, does anyone reading this find that acceptable?

    Do you have a link to that interview? And was it 500,000?


    The interview was on '60 Minutes' back in 1996.

    Via Democracy Now! (2004), here was a recap of what Albright said back in 1996 during the interview:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2004/7/30/democracy_now_confronts_madeline_albright_on

    Democracy NowDuring his presidency, Bill Clinton presided over the most devestating regime of economic sanctions in history that the UN estimated took the lives of as many as a million Iraqis, the vast majority of them children.

    In May of 1996, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Madeline Albright, who at the time was Clinton's UN Ambassador. Correspondent (Lesley) Stahl said to Albright, "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that"s more children than died in Hiroshima. And — and you know, is the price worth it?"

    Madeline Albright replied "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it."



    In 2004, Democracy Now! (specifically, Amy Goodman, the middle-right commentator you see on CNN today) spotted the Ambassador following a DNC convention closing speech by then-candidate John Kerry, and asked her about her response back in 1996 (in reference to Clinton's continued sanctions against Saddam Hussein's Iraq).


    Democracy Now! (July 2004)AMY GOODMAN: Secretary Albright—the question I have always wanted to ask’ do you regret having said, when asked do you think the price was worth it—

    MADELINE ALBRIGHT: I have said 5,000 times that I regret it. It was a stupid statement. I never should have made it and if everybody else that has ever made a statement they regret, would stand up, there would be a lot of people standing. I have many, many times said it and I wish that people would report that I have said it. I wrote it in my book that it was a stupid statement.

    AMY GOODMAN: Do you think it laid the ground work for later being able to target Iraq and make it more acceptable on the part of the Bush administration?

    MADELINE ALBRIGHT: What? You’ve got to be kidding.

    AMY GOODMAN: The sanctions against Iraq.

    MADELINE ALBRIGHT: The sanctions against Iraq were put on because Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. But there never were sanctions against food and medicine. And you people need to know there never were sanctions against food and medicine and I was responsible for getting food in there and getting Saddam Hussein to pump oil.


    So, in a nutshell, Albright contends that the economic sanctions by the U.S. were worth did not include essentials like food and medicine; that any deaths of children and grown-ups that did occur laid at the feet of the dictator that thought it was a good idea to invade Kuwait; and that her actions may have saved lives, not caused additional deaths.

    The OP suggests the Ambassador's comments were under the context of "winning the war" (his words). The first Gulf War for the U.S. (Operation Desert Storm) ended in 1991 with George H.W. Bush in power, well before Clinton's continuation of Bush's imposed sanctions. That war began just over four months after Saddam invaded Kuwait. The next war in Iraq began in 2003, under the first Bush's son, the year before this follow-up interview that included Albright's verbal retraction.

    Albright's 1996 comment was not in relation to "winning a war," but to "economic sanctions" imposed by President Clinton.

    The sudden concerns about an already retracted statement by Albright stem from another statement that she found herself quickly stepping back from in defense of another Clinton: the "Special Place in Hell" comments.

    As to whether these million death actually happened from economic sanctions, well...

    http://www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/the-iraq-sanctions-myth-56433

    Pacific Standard (April 2013)Just over 10 years ago the United Kingdom followed the United States into the bloody Iraq War. George W. Bush and Tony Blair justified the invasion mainly with the claim that Iraq possessed, or was in the process of building, weapons of mass destruction. Most people now seem to be aware that this premise was false.

    Yet a crucial myth surrounding the Iraq War still commands widespread belief—that economic sanctions aimed at Saddam Hussein and his regime killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children in the 1990s and early 2000s. The supposed lethality of economic sanctions was used as an argument for invading Iraq, as Walter Russell Mead would argue in March 2003: "Saddam Hussein is 65; containing him for another 10 years condemns at least another 360,000 Iraqis to death. Of these, 240,000 will be children under five."

    And, as we shall see, the sanctions myth is still used to justify the war. There were no hundreds of thousands of extra deaths.

    The claim that sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children originated in a 1995 letter to The Lancet which, in turn, was based on a Baghdad survey done by Sarah Zaidi and colleagues.

    After other researchers identified anomalies in the survey data, Zaidi, to her great credit, re-investigated the work from the ground up. Having sub-contracted the original interviews to the Iraqi government, she traveled to Baghdad and re-interviewed many of the original households. When Zaidi failed to confirm quite a few of the reported deaths in these follow-up interviews, she retracted her results.

    For the rest of your life, whenever you see a survey, ask yourself a simple question: Who guarantees the integrity of the field work for this survey? It made a world of difference in the present case when Sarah Zaidi shifted this responsibility from some Iraqi government workers to herself.

    Sadly, the retraction came too late—the genie was already out of the bottle.

    In May 1996, shortly after the publication of Zaidi’s original letter, Madeleine Albright, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, had the following rather shocking and fateful exchange on American national television:
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    Mar 22, 2016 9:19 PM GMT
    (continued)

    MTI3NTgxNjQwNjAzMDQ4NDE0.jpg

    60 Minutes (CBS News, 1996)Lesley Stahl (of CBS News): "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"

    Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price—we think the price is worth it.”


    Pacific StandardThese remarks became a notorious example of extreme American callousness toward the Muslim world.


    Albright found herself defending US sanctions policy based on a question based on faulty research, led by a researcher that contracted with the same government that brought you Baghdad Bob. She knows in hindsight that she should have denied the veracity of the claims without having vetted them herself, before pivoting to justify the sanctions.

    But the ripple effect of her admitted misstep extended from Osama Bin Laden's pouncing on her statement in the 1990s (as noted in the above article), to the Dubya Bush White House, and Blair's Downing Street, using it to justify a second Iraq War (in Blair's case, ironically, to a questioning Lesley Stahl!), to people using it out of context as a means to question Hillary's associates in 2016.

    Those sanctions against Iraq were first enacted in 1990, under the first Bush, and stayed in place through Clinton until Saddam was deposed in May 2003 after the U.S. invasion, under the second Bush.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctions_against_Iraq#Albright_interview

    WikiAlbright wrote later that Saddam Hussein, not the sanctions, was to blame. She criticized Stahl's segment as "amount[ing] to Iraqi propaganda"; said that her question was a loaded question; wrote "I had fallen into a trap and said something I did not mean"; and regretted coming "across as cold-blooded and cruel". The segment won an Emmy Award. Albright's "non-denial" was taken by sanctions opponents as confirmation of a high number of sanctions related casualties.


    [url]http://personal.rhul.ac.uk/uhte/014/Truth%20and%20Death.pdf[/url]
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    Mar 22, 2016 9:45 PM GMT
    pouncer saiddayumm> Albright found herself defending US sanctions policy based on a question based on faulty research

    Do you have any evidence that the research was "faulty"?
    In fact, it came from UN sources.

    The US also, for the longest time, "contracted" with that government.

    As for Madeleine Albright, I suggest instead of pimping for Hillary, she go back to doing what she does best - scaring little kids on Halloween (without a mask).


    In addition to the post preceding the one you quoted (the Zaidi research that was the basis for Stahl's question), you'll see the slowwwwwwwww trackback of the UN's UNICEF study (including, by UNICEF istelf!) in the PSMag link above. So even the UN discredited its own sources.

    Pacific StandardIn fact, several years prior to 9/11, a new UNICEF survey of child mortality in Iraq appeared in The Lancet. Apparently learning nothing from Sarah Zaidi’s experience, UNICEF did not place itself in a position to guarantee the integrity of the field work underpinning its survey, again delegating this responsibility to Iraqi government workers. This survey, like Zaidi’s original one, found hundreds of thousands of child deaths. Once again, the storyline that sanctions were killing massive numbers of Iraqi children had scientific respectability.

    Yet over the next decade this UNICEF survey also fell by the wayside as three subsequent surveys (one sponsored again by UNICEF, another by the U.N. Development Progam, and a third by the World Health Organization) found no evidence to support UNICEF’s earlier claimed spike in child mortality rates in 1990s Iraq.


    MTI3NTgxNjQxMTM5ODc1ODEw.jpg
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    Mar 22, 2016 9:54 PM GMT
    pouncer saidExcept it wasn't just UNICEF. The British Medical Journal The Lancet and the World Health Organization also confirmed the statistics.


    As noted in the article, hat's the Lancet that the subsequent research beat back. The Lancet reported both Zaidi's research and the UNICEF research that used the same faulty methods. Of course, all of that arrived only AFTER Saddam had been deposed.
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    Mar 22, 2016 9:59 PM GMT
    pouncer saidNo, UNICEF, The Lancet and the WHO stand by those figures. And it wasn't 500,000 deaths in the 1990s, it was almost 600,000 deaths just from 1991-1994.


    They did a poor job of standing by:

    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HEREhttp://www.childinfo.org/files/MICS3_Iraq_FinalReport_2006_eng.pdf


    Their findings are represented in the "blue line" result that you see in the graphic from the earlier post. The one (along with two others) that obviously contradicts the "black line" that was being paraded around as justification, pre-decision-to-invade.

    Again, UNICEF confirmed their own figures until the War began, after which they took it back. And the Lancet (and the WHO, and the BMJ) assumed the researchers were basing their findings on quality research, which proved not to be the case ("Contracting with Baghdad Bob and Company", never a good idea!)

    Michael Spagat, "Truth and Death" (Significance, 2010)The official United Nations investigation of
    the Oil-for-Food programme was quite sceptical
    about the ICMMS
    and explicitly raised
    the possibility that the ICMMS data “could
    conceivably have been tampered with” by the
    Iraqi regime
    . The ICMMS has since been
    defended, but three big new surveys strongly
    contradict it. All three are UN-sponsored,
    done in conjunction with the Iraqi (postSaddam)
    and Kurdish authorities.
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    Mar 22, 2016 10:16 PM GMT
    pouncer saidYou have yet to provide the UNICEF, Lancet and WHO retractions, while the report you linked to is not by any of them, but by the Iraqi government in 2007.

    For the correct info, in context (we are not talking about one errant study), read endnote 82 (pp. 255-7) from this standard study.

    It ends thus:

    || By the most conservative estimate, excess child mortality would be at least 100,000, while the majority of the studies conducted since 1991 have consistently placed the figure for the entire period somewhere between half a million and a million excess child deaths. The latter figures are far more consistent with the other information available concerning food availability and malnutrition, the continual shortages of water fit for human consumption, and the extreme deterioration of medical services...


    That's one of the studies that was later refuted, as shown above. Quietly, of course! icon_lol.gif

    That's a footnote reference to that latter study with the faulty basis.
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    Mar 22, 2016 10:24 PM GMT
    Albright said it was a dumb response. It's a shame she didn't dismiss the question by questioning the somewhat dubious claim it was based on. Successful Politicians should know better to get sucked it like she did.


    Reminds me of this of this conundrum:

    How do you answer the question: "Did you stop beating your wife?" "Yes" means you did beat your wife while "no" implies you still do. The question doesn't allow for a claim that you never beat your wife in the first place.

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    Mar 22, 2016 10:31 PM GMT
    pouncer saidNo studies were refuted.

    See also here.

    You are simply refusing to accept the full evidence, as you cling to your one "anomalous" unscholarly source.


    Yeah, UNICEF is never scholarly when they take back their own figures! icon_lol.gif

    I'm glad your source did the same as my sourceS and provided sources! icon_razz.gif

    This source for your information was Joy Gordon's "Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions" and even in the parts preceding your quote she states, "after the 2003 War in Iraq, there were other reports that revisited the dispute."

    Gordon since went on to stick with the IIC assumptions that were later retracted by UNICEF themselves as though they were correct. Interestingly, her interview with Democracy Now! appeared in 2010. Here's what she says really went on with the sanctions under Bush and Clinton:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/1/invisible_war_how_thirteen_years_of

    Democracy Now!JOY GORDON: They allowed medicine, and they allowed food, quote, "in humanitarian circumstances." But that phrase wasn’t defined. In fact, what happened for the first eight months is that within the Security Council committee that maintained the sanctions — it was called the 661 Committee, after the resolution. Each country had veto power. It operated by consensus. And for the first eight months, the US, accompanied by a couple of others, but absolutely the US, would not even allow Iraq to import food. This is a country that had been importing two-thirds of its food. There was a fight, for example, that went on for weeks and weeks over whether or not Iraq could import a shipment of powdered milk, and the US opposed that just intransigently.


    As was the case for Saddam's regime, Gordon knows it's a hard-sell to lift sanctions if the mortality numbers aren't high. So, take the data that fits your narrative and run with it!

    Also noted from your "source": the IIC was only formed in 2004, when the UN felt a need to respond to the allegations that "The UN was accused of allowing Saddam Hussein to manipulate the Oil-for-Food programme". The IIC was headed by former Fed chair Paul Volcker, and was looking to defend its role in the whole affair. Its final report came out in 2005. The UN report that followed (linked above) showed up the following year.
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    Mar 22, 2016 10:57 PM GMT
    pouncer saidYet you still haven't provided any evidence of UNICEF (or The Lancet or the WHO) "taking back" their own figures.

    If you bothered reading the source (and yes I am aware of its name) you would see straight away that Gordon is REFUTING the ICC study ("very conservative conclusion") due to its putting to much weight on the 1997 census data, amon other reasons.

    She goes with the "far more consistent"500,000-1,000,000 figure, as most experts do.

    Why do you insist on cherry-picking from one "tree" (a non-essential source), when I've provided for you the forest?


    Actually you provided a nice park and I provided you the city! icon_lol.gif

    Once again, she showed why OTHER researchers (Dyson) refuted the IIC work, but went along with it anyway as a "conservative estimate" to keep her narrative about the brutality of the sanctions going.

    Far more relevant to this thread is her commentary in her book, which was conveniently excerpted on her website:

    http://www.invisiblewar.net/excerpt

    Invisible WarMadeline Albright’s memorable gaffe in response to the question “500,000 children— is it worth it?”— which she regretted for years— was always and only a public relations error. It made no difference that she and other State Department officials, from that point on, vigorously insisted that they cared deeply about Iraqi children.

    The more accurate answer, regardless of the public rhetoric, was: of course it was worth it. Blocking glue, water pipes, water tankers, thermos flasks, ambulance radios, irrigation equipment— all of this was worth it because the negligible imaginary possibility that these could be turned to nefarious purposes always outweighed the collapse of the Iraqi health system, Iraq’s frantic efforts to increase agricultural production, the disappearance of Iraq’s middle class, the hundreds of thousands of tons of untreated sewage that went daily into Iraq’s rivers.


    Gordon is right on, of course. But note that her critique shifts away from the sanctions (and Albright) to the unfounded fear over Saddam's alleged WMD's... yet another issue that had faulty bases as justification!
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    Mar 22, 2016 11:03 PM GMT
    Once again, for those needing "scholarly research" here is that branch, again! Look ma, with sources! icon_lol.gif

    [url]http://personal.rhul.ac.uk/uhte/014/Truth%20and%20Death.pdf[/url]

    Michael Spagat, 2010In retrospect it is surprising that so many
    people seem to have believed so strongly in the
    massive child death numbers emanating from
    Iraq. Common sense dictates that any survey
    work conducted within the confines of a ruthless
    and powerful dictatorship with a huge
    stake in the outcome has to be received with
    caution.
    An estimate of half a million child
    deaths due to sanctions appeared in 1995 and
    was quickly withdrawn in 1997 amidst clear
    signs of manipulation.
    Yet, when virtually the
    same estimate sprang back to life a few years
    later based on a survey that already displayed
    a questionable reversal of fortune between the
    Kurdish zone and the South/Centre, it quickly
    gained widespread acceptance.


    The credibility of the half-a-million-plus
    figure seems to have remained largely intact
    even as evidence has piled up against it.
    (cough, Gordon, cough) icon_razz.gif

    Thus, Tony Blair was able to defend
    himself in front of the Chilcot Inquiry by
    citing ICMMS-inspired figures, extrapolated
    beyond the 1990s
    , to argue that the invasion of
    Iraq had saved lives. The evidence suggests that
    this claim should now take up its rightful place
    in the historical record next to Iraq’s mythical
    weapons of mass destruction.


    I'd say Prof. Gordon and Prof. Spagat are on the right path now! icon_biggrin.gif Yay, scholars!
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    Mar 22, 2016 11:23 PM GMT
    Beating a dead horse, but here was Spagat in a subsequent interview on the Lancet items, specifically.

    Musings on IraqJOEL WING: I want to try to address some of the arguments made by people who defend the two Lancet surveys. Some of the most common ones that I’ve heard were that it was published in the Lancet that is a respected journal, it was peer reviewed, and that they did it during a war so you’re never going to get perfect work during that time. Given all that people say that others shouldn’t be so critical of the two surveys. What do you think of that kind of defense?

    MICHAEL SPAGAT: First of all, saying that something has to be right or is probably right because it has been peer reviewed is quite a weak defense. Peer review is a good thing, and it is a strength of scientific journals that there is that level of scrutiny, but if you look at the list of scientific claims that have turned out to be wrong and that have been published in peer reviewed journals….well…the list just goes on and on and on. Publishing in a peer reviewed journal is no guarantee that something is right. Some of the people who do the referee reports are more conscientious than others. In almost no cases does refereeing ever include an element of replication. Often referees don’t even know enough about literature cited to judge whether claims about the current state of knowledge are accurate or otherwise. Mostly people just assume what they’re being told by the authors of the paper is correct and valid. Peer review is better than no peer review, but it hardly guarantees that something is going to be correct. (Let’s not forget the graph discussed earlier in this interview which survived the Lancet’s peer review procedures.)

    (ICYMI...)

    Child-Mortality-Graph-300x218.jpg

    Journal peer review is just the beginning of a long peer review process. Thinking that journal peer review is the end of this process is a serious misunderstanding. Peer review is an ongoing thing. It is not something that ends with publication. Everything in science is potentially up for grabs, and people are always free to question. Anyone might come up with valid criticisms.

    If you look at Burnham et al. there have been a number of peer reviewed articles that have critiqued it, and said it is wrong. So if you think peer review has to always be correct then you’re immediately in a logical conundrum because you’ve got peer reviewed articles saying opposite things. What do you do now?

    (Uh-oh, scholars! :lolicon_smile.gif

    As for the Lancet, as a scientific journal over the last decade or more it has had quite a spotty record. Much of what it has published has turned out to be wrong. The Lancet is not considered one of the more reliable scientific journals and it has a reputation for sensationalism. You have to remember that at the end of the day the Lancet is a profit making operation. It is chockablock full of advertising. Library subscriptions are extremely expensive. It brings in millions of pounds of revenue. Sensationalism sells, so by some metric Richard Horton has been a successful journal editor, because he’s gotten a lot of media attention. It’s good for subscriptions, good for advertising, but articles in the Lancet still (needs) to be scrutinized on a case-by-case basis, as is the case with any other journal.

    I’m happy to give people credit for doing difficult research in war zones. And I’m happy to admire the courage of people who do dangerous field work. But doing courageous field work doesn’t make your findings correct and we shouldn’t accept false claims just because someone had the guts to go out in the field and gather data. Science is a ruthless process. We have to seek the truth. Courage is not an adequate rebuttal to being wrong.
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    Mar 22, 2016 11:34 PM GMT
    pouncer saiddayyum> Once again, she showed why OTHER researchers (Dyson) refuted the IIC work, but went along with it anyway as a "conservative estimate"

    Except she didn't "go along" with it at all. She undermined it by citing the corpus of respected studies ij toto which showed it to be an "anomaly".

    Again, you're relegated to quoting someone claiming the studies were retracted. Can you show us The Lancet, the WHO or UNICEF retracting the studies?


    Look, ma... a RETRACTION! icon_lol.gif And in the Lancet, no less!

    [url]http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(05)70470-0/fulltext[/url]

    Prof. Zaidi (the never-wrong Lancet)Sir,

    I, with others reported the results of a child mortality and nutrition survey I jointly conducted in Baghdad, in August, 1995, as a member of a mission sponsored by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Because of the high level of child mortality, I took part in a follow-up mission to Iraq, in April, 1996, with the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), a non-governmental organisation. The mortality rates estimated in 1996 were much lower than those reported in 1995, for unknown reasons. During a return mission by the FAO in August, 1997, I conducted detailed follow-up interviews with a subgroup of mothers.

    CESR's 1996 survey used the same map, survey methodology, and interview questionnaire as the 1995 FAO survey, and included 20 repeat clusters from the earlier survey among the 64 total clusters selected by a random-number generator. There were four survey teams, each comprised an international supervisor, a Jordanian interviewer, and three enumerators from the Nutrition Research Institute (part of Iraq's Ministry of Health) who had taken part in data collection in 1995.

    In the 1996 survey, relative neonatal and postneonatal mortality were estimated at 1·07 (95% CI 0·58–1·97) and 1·06 (0·45–2·54), respectively. The overall probability of death for children aged 0–5 years in the 5 years before the survey was estimated at 38 per 1000 persons at risk, which is several-fold lower than the estimate for 1995 (table). For the repeat clusters, 69% of births (n=406) proved to match by name, sex, and date of birth, and an additional 27% by name and sex. However, only nine deaths were confirmed in both surveys: 65 deaths recorded in 1995 were not reported in 1996, and nine recorded in 1996 were not reported in 1995.

    During the 1997 FAO mission, I reinterviewed 26 women from the repeat clusters who had reported a child death in 1995 but not in 1996. Nine child deaths that had been recorded in 1995 but not in 1996 were confirmed by the mother, 13 were not confirmed, and four miscarriages and stillbirths were found to have been mistakenly recorded as deaths in 1995. Thus, an accurate estimate of child mortality in Iraq probably lies between the two surveys.

    Rather than discouraging rapid scientific assessments in crisis situations, these results highlight four lessons to be drawn from the experience in Iraq. First, the need for explicit on-site verification, even in only a small portion of the survey sample. Second, the training of local enumerators (and international experts) to underscore the need for objectivity even under difficult circumstances. Third, the need for survey organisers and government to ensure data quality (in Iraq the government would not provide census or birth and death registry data). Finally, the need for reliable indicators of the effects of sanctions on vulnerable sectors of the civilian population (eg, child mortality is difficult to assess and other indicators such as weight-for-age may be better).


    UNICEF retracted their own study in 2006 with the reportS (scholarly, mind you! lol) with mortality figures that were far less than the ones allegedly "re-confirmed" a year before via the IIC. Already referenced above.

    And WHO, as usual was merely piggybacking the UN. icon_lol.gif

    WikiThe Lancet publication was the result of two separate surveys by UNICEF between February and May 1999 in partnership with the local (Iraq) authorities and with technical support by the WHO. "The large sample sizes - nearly 24,000 households randomly selected from all governorates in the south and center of Iraq and 16,000 from the north - helped to ensure that the margin of error for child mortality in both surveys was low," UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said.

    Moreover, in 2004, a new report made by Iraqi government don't show any increase in infant mortality and their statistics for the autonomous region of Iraq are the same as the statistics reported in the late 90s by the autonomous government. A report made in 2007 (arrived) to the (same) conclusions.


    Who you gonna believe, the post-Saddam regime (in a report produced by WHO), the ORIGINAL researcher's retraction, or your lyin' eyes? icon_razz.gif

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2008/pr02/2008_iraq_family_health_survey_report.pdf

    (The WHO's "new" results are represented by the skinnier black line, with greatly diminished mortality rates, in the chart shown earlier. That's all the face-saving retraction you're gonna get from them! lol)
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    Mar 22, 2016 11:49 PM GMT
    pouncer saidGet back to us once you have the "retractions".


    Get back to us once you've read them! icon_razz.gif

    And, you're welcome! icon_biggrin.gif

    Gordon's study was accurate in her estimation so she could go on with her narrative (one which I agree with, BTW!).

    And if you don't trust the post-Saddam regime, then you don't trust WHO for publishing the work.
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    Mar 22, 2016 11:55 PM GMT
    pouncer saidThere are no retractions to read.
    You proffered Prof. Zaid claiming a handful of baby deaths might not have happened. That's NOT a retraction. Nor does she accept the "anomalous" low estimate of 100,000.


    In the research world, as noted before, "That's all the retraction you're going to get!" Extrapolate the "handfuls" from fault research and you can get a nice, wiiiiide estimate. Even in the retraction (yes that's what our dear Lancet called it), she guesstimates rather than verifies: "meh, it's probably somewhere between the two." icon_lol.gif

    The rush by the UN (read: Dubya and Blair's allies) to get a new number pre-War was based on the fact they couldn't lean on research she herself questioned the integrity of.
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    Mar 23, 2016 12:04 AM GMT
    Lest I forget, all of these walls-o-text doesn't excuse Madame Albright by any measure. Her failure at fact-checking before responding led to a LOT of different consequences down the line. A U.S. official has to do better than that, and in the years since she's acknowledged as such. We can afford to fail to fact-check on here, and Lesley Stahl can, too. But the UN Ambassador cannot.
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    Mar 23, 2016 12:07 AM GMT
    pouncer saidShe was one (out of many) who contributed to one (out of many) concurring studies. And she didn't "retract" anything above the margin of error. Please learn logic and how to read data.


    First way to know someone doesn't want to use logic? "Please learn logic!" It's in the Logic 101 textbook, page 1! icon_lol.gif

    And Zaida's research WAS the basis for Stahl's 1996 question which WAS the basis for Albright's response, which IS the reason it keeps coming up today in 2016. There were no other guesstimates before hers. And she retracted it even before Stahl asked Albright. But, LOGIC! icon_razz.gif
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    Mar 23, 2016 2:37 AM GMT
    As we've both shown, multiple studies disprove the half-mill argument. And those later studies looked at all those studies in your one author's endnote and reached the same conclusion... including the sources from the original research themselves.

    Now, LOGIC indicates it's DINNER time! icon_cool.gif